Trump wants a total ban on German luxury auto imports ars_ab.settitle(1316879)

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An exclusive report from German magazine WirtschaftsWoche cites several unnamed USA and European diplomats.

German magazine Wirtschaftswoche is reporting that Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron he wanted to stop Mercedes-Benzs from cruising through New York's Fifth Avenue.

Shares of German automakers fell Thursday following the report.

An excerpt from German magazine Wirtschaftswoche's article, which cited several unnamed European and USA diplomats but did not include any direct quotes, could not be independently verified, while a United States Embassy spokesman in Berlin referred questions to Washington.

This could destroy exports by German carmakers, which control 90 percent of the USA premium market and are the biggest European Union exporters of cars to the United States. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen now build cars on United States soil.

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The Trump administration last week launched a Section 232 trade investigation into vehicle imports. WirtschaftsWoche's article points out that just prior to his inauguration in 2017, Trump railed against the Mercedes-Benz vehicles he saw in NY.

German authorities have criticized the investigation into vehicle imports, which could lead to tariffs of up to 25 percent on the same "national security" grounds that Washington used to impose metals duties in March. "Not too many, maybe none at all, you do not see anything over there, it's a one-way street, '" the magazine added.

The U.S. trade market has been rocky the past few months. "I love free trade, but it must be a smart trade for me to call it fair". Before being elected, he reportedly owned several Mercedes, and photos have shown him driving a Rolls-Royce - a product of BMW.

Trump is expected to decide on Thursday whether to end an European Union exemption from tariffs on USA imports of steel and aluminum. Audi and BMW had not responded to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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